Saturday, January 12, 2013

Vendee Globe : Trindade and Martin Vaz

Situation January 12, 2013 11:00 UTC 

>>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<

The islands of Trindade (occasionally called Trinidad) and Martim Vaz (also called Martin Vaz) are located about 1,200 kilometers (740 mi) east of Vitória in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, belong to the State of Espírito Santo of Brazil.
They are considered part of the area of the state capital, Vitória.
The islands are uninhabited, except for a garrison of the Brazilian Navy, 32 strong.
The group consists of Ilha Trindade, by far the largest island, and Ilhas de Martim Vaz, 29 miles further east.

Clearer view of the island
(photos Marcelo Koelho)

 >>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<
Trindade is the largest island, with an area of 10.1 km² (3.9 sq mi); 

Martim Vaz

  >>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<
Note : the shift between the position of the DHN nautical chart and the Google imagery
about 49 km (30 miles) east of it are the tiny Martin Vaz islets.

The archipelago consists of five islands and several rocks and stacks.
The islands are of volcanic origin and have rugged terrain.
The island lies more than halfway between Brazil and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge near the eastern end of the submarine Vitória-Trindade Ridge.
The island is the main nesting site of the green sea turtle in Brazil.

They are largely barren, except for the southern part of Ilha Trindade.
They were discovered in 1502 by Portuguese explorer Estêvão da Gama and stayed Portuguese until they became part of Brazil at its independence.
From 1890 to 1896, Trindade was occupied by the United Kingdom until an accord with Brazil was reached.
During the period of British occupation, Trindade was known as “South Trinidad”.

Many visitors have been to Martim Vaz, the most famous of whom was the English astronomer Edmund Halley (of Halley’s Comet fame), who took possession of the island on behalf of the British Monarchy in 1700.
Captain La Pérouse stopped there at the outset of his 1785 voyage to the Pacific.

In 1893 the American James Harden-Hickey claimed the island and declared himself as James I, Prince of Trinidad.
According to James Harden-Hickey’s plans, Trinidad, after being recognized as an independent country, would become a military dictatorship and have him as dictator.
He designed postage stamps, a national flag, and a coat of arms; established a chivalric order, the “Cross of Trinidad”; bought a schooner to transport colonists; appointed M. le Comte de la Boissiere as Secretary of State; opened a consular office at 217 West 36th Street in New York; and even issued government bonds to finance construction of infrastructure on the island.
Despite his plans, his idea was ridiculed or ignored by the world.

In July 1895, the British again tried to take possession of this strategic position in the Atlantic.
The British planned to use the island as a cable station.
However, Brazilian diplomatic efforts, along with Portuguese support, reinstated Trindade Island to Brazilian sovereignty.

In order to clearly demonstrate sovereignty over the island, now part of the State of Espírito Santo and the municipality of Vitória, a landmark was built on January 24, 1897.
Nowadays, Brazilian presence is marked by a permanent Brazilian Navy base on the main island.

 (source : Aenigmatis)

On January 16, 1958, a unidentified flying object (refers as the Trindade Island's UFO) was seen and photographed over the Trindade Island.
The photographs were rumored as being a hoax.

From shimmering sunsets to raging seas: a year of RNLI life saving caught on camera from coasts around UK

A compilation of genuine rescue footage taken from the RNLI's lifeboats, lifeguards and Flood Rescue Team at work around the UK and Republic of Ireland throughout 2012.

From DailMail

The bravery of our nation's lifeboat crew members has been captured in this dramatic set of pictures taken around the UK's coast.

The photos show the courageous life-saving duties of volunteers and crew in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Lifeboats submerged in stormy seas, crews returning from a weary night of work and boats battling against the waves were all entries in the annual RNLI photo competition.

Calm before the storm: Crew member Bob Warick's photograph captures a Royal National Lifeboat Institution boat at sunset in New Brighton and won him a place in the final
Calm before the storm: Crew member Bob Warick's photograph captures a Royal National Lifeboat Institution boat at sunset in New Brighton and won him a place in the final

Heroic: John Julian's photograph shows a rescue boat crashing against rough water in St Agnes, Cornwall
Heroic: John Julian's photograph shows a rescue boat crashing against rough water off the coast of St Agnes, in Cornwall. The photo made the final of RNLI competition

Winning photo: Neville Murphy won the Royal National Lifeboat Institution photography competition with his photo, The Calm, showing kit belonging to crew members
Winning photo: Neville Murphy won the Royal National Lifeboat Institution photography competition with his photo, The Calm, showing kit belonging to crew members

Volunteer crew member Neville Murphy, originally from Dunmore East in the Republic of Ireland, was the overall winner with his photo, The Calm, showing yellow lifeboat crew kit hanging up ready for action.
A picture of a boat's bow protruding from the sea won second place in the competition by volunteer crew member Paul Collins, from Abersoch, Wales.

His photo shows a rescue when three people had to jump overboard after their powerboat started taking on water. 
When the crew arrived there was just 2ft of the boat left on view.

Rare sight: Noel Packer, a shore-helper, captured the calm after the storm as the crew arrived home after a rescue mission with a rainbow in the sky
Rare sight: Noel Packer, a shore-helper, captured the calm after the storm as the crew arrived home after a rescue mission with a rainbow in the sky

Brave: Paul Collins came second in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution photography competition with this picture showing an up tuned boat in Abersoch, Wales
Brave: Paul Collins came second in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution photography competition with this picture showing an up tuned boat in Abersoch, Wales

A Helping Hand, taken by Jake Clifford during a major first aid incident on Weymouth beach, came third in the in the competition which captured work of brave lifeboat crew
A Helping Hand, taken by Jake Clifford during a major first aid incident on Weymouth beach, came third in the in the competition which captured work of brave lifeboat crew

Undaunted: Paul Ashworth who is based in Fleetword captured a lifeboat tilting at 45 degrees as it powered through rough seas in Blackpool
Undaunted: Paul Ashworth who is based in Fleetword captured a lifeboat tilting at 45 degrees as it powered through rough seas in Blackpool

Jake Clifford, RNLI supervisor for Weymouth and West Dorset, won third place for his dramatic photo, A Helping Hand, taken during a major first aid incident on Weymouth beach. 
Jake and the other members of the crew cleared the landing site for a rescue helicopter to take the casualty to hospital.

Other photos include a lifeboat tilting at 45 degrees as it powers through the rough seas in Blackpool, taken by coxswain Paul Ashworth, based in Fleetwood.
Another has been taken at an angle by second coxswain Stuart Tibbett through a sea-splattered lens as the lifeboat rushes to an incident in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.

Courageous: Phil Taylor snapped this photo of a yacht being towed in Weymouth beach in Dorset
Courageous: Lifeguard Phil Taylor snapped this photo of a yacht being towed in Weymouth beach, Dorset , in stormy seas, which made it to the final of the competition

Tim Royall's photo shows a RNLI boat in St Ives, in Cornwall
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Lifesavers: Tim Royall's photo (above) shows a RNLI boat at night in St Ives, in Cornwall,
Jamie McHale's photo shows an RNLI lifeboat from Bridlington
while Jamie McHale snapped the side of his lifeboat in Bridlington 

Second Coxswain Stuart Tibbett took this picture through a sea-splattered lens as the lifeboat rushes to an incident in Bridlington, East Yorkshire
Second Coxswain Stuart Tibbett took this picture through a sea-splattered lens as the lifeboat rushes to an incident in Bridlington, East Yorkshire

Noel Packer, a shore-helper in Dungeness, Kent, has captured the calm after the storm as the crew arrives home after a rescue mission, with a rainbow in the sky behind them.
While inshore crew member Phil Taylor's photo shows a boat being towed in at Weymouth beach in Dorset.

The RNLI is a charity which provides a 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service.
It has saved more than 139,000 lives since its foundation in 1824 as the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck.
The name was changed to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in 1854, and cork life jackets were first issued to crew members in the same year.
The 20th century saw the RNLI continue to save lives at sea through two world wars.
Lifeboats moved from sail and oar power to petrol and diesel and the first women joined their crews.
Recent years have seen a significant expansion of the service with the introduction of RNLI lifeguards.
A spokesman for the RNLI said: 'The RNLI encourages its volunteer crews and lifeguards to take photos when possible, to illustrate the lifesaving work they do and help build public support for the charity.'

Friday, January 11, 2013

Australia AHS update in the Marine GeoGarage

8 charts have been added in the Marine GeoGarage (AHS update 20/12/2012)
  • Aus67 Australia West Coast - Western Australia - Barrow Island Wapet Landing
  • Aus132 Australia South Coast - South Australia - Approaches to Port Augusta
  • Aus196 Australia East Coast - New South Wales - Port Botany
  • Aus842 Australia - Papua New Guinea - Torres Strait - Varzin Passage to Unji Point
  • Aus841 Australia- Papua New Guinea - Torres Strait - Kirkaldie Reef to Boigu Island
  • Aus83 Australia - West Coast - Plans in Western Australia (Sheet5)
  • Aus485 Australia South Coast - South Australia - Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent
  • Aus129 Australia - South Coast - South Australia - Approaches to Nepean Bay
32 charts have been updated in the Marine GeoGarage (AHS update 20/12/2012)
  • Aus318    Australia North West Coast - Western Australia - Pelican Island to Penguin Shoal
  • Aus4722    Australia North West Coast - Adele Island to Dampier including Adjacent Waters
  • Aus829    Australia East Coast - Queensland - Brook Islands to Russell Island
  • Aus328    Australia North West Coast - Western Australia - Montebello Islands to North West Cape
  • Aus329    Australia North West Coast - Western Australia - North West Cape to Point Cloates
  • Aus4723    Australia - North West Coast - Java to North West Cape
  • Aus325    Australia - North West Coast - Western Australia - Rowley Shoals to Bedout Islet
  • Aus326    Australia North West Coast - Western Australia - Bedout Islet to Port Walcott
  • Aus327    Australia North West Coast - Western Australia - Port Walcott to Montebello Islands
  • Aus367    Australia East Coast - Queensland - North Reef to Pine Peak Island
  • Aus728    Australia North West Coast - Western Australia - Eclipse Islands to Cape Voltaire
  • Aus745    Australia West Coast - Western Australia - North West Cape to Point Maud
  • Aus828    Australia East Coast - Queensland - Palm Isles to Brook Islands and Palm Passage
  • Aus242    Australia East Coast - Queensland - Port Bundaberg including Burnett River
  • Aus739    Australia North West Coast - Western Australia - Bedout Islet to Port Hedland
  • Aus740    Australia North West Coast - Western Australia - Port Hedland to Port Walcott
  • Aus741    Australia North West Coast - Western Australia - Approaches to Dampier Archipelago
  • Aus742    Australia Nortth West Coast - Western Australia - Rosemary Island to Barrow Island
  • Aus259    Australia East Coast - Queensland - Hinchinbrook Channel
  • Aus840    Australia - Papua New Guinea - Torres Strait - Arden Islet to East Cay
  • Aus920    Indian Ocean - Plans in Christmas Island
  • Aus751    Australia West Coast - Western Australia - Houtman Abrolhos and Geelvink Channel
  • Aus208    Australia East Coast - New South Wales - Newcastle Harbour
  • Aus120    Australia South Coast - South Australia - Approaches to Thevenard
  • Aus125    Australia South Coast - Plans in South Australia (Sheet 1)
  • Aus837    Australia East Coast - Queensland - Olinda Entrance to Meer Island
  • Aus674    Papua New Guinea - New Britain - North Coast - Approaches To Kimbe including Buluma
  • Aus777    Australia South Coast - South Australia - Winceby Island to Point Riley
  • Aus839    Australia North East Coast - Queensland - Cairncross Islets to Arden Island
  • Aus4   Australia North Coast - Queensland - Approaches to Weipa
  • Aus296   Australia North Coast - Torres Strait - Prince of Wales Channel to Varzvin Passage
  • Aus646   Papua New Guinea - North Coast - Approaches to Madang
 20 charts have been withdrawn since the last update :
  • Aus289   Gannet and Varzin Passages
  • Aus308   Goulburn Islands to Melville Island
  • Aus345   Gulf of St. Vincent and Approaches
  • Aus364   Clarence River to Cape Moreton
  • Aus365   Cape Moreton to Sandy Cape
  • Aus366   Sandy Cape to Keppel Isles
  • Aus402   Casey Bay to Cape Darnley
  • Aus414   Rowley Shoals to Lombok Strait
  • Aus415   Cape Leveque to North West Cape
  • Aus416   Montebello Islands to Geraldton
  • Aus417   Geraldton to Cape Leeuwin
  • Aus422   Cape Otway to Gabo Island - including Tasmania
  • Aus423   Eddystone Point to Port Jackson
  • Aus424   Port Jackson to Fraser Island
  • Aus426   Fraser Island to Cumberland Islands
  • Aus442   Australia North Coast - Cape Don to Cape Wessel
  • Aus444   South Australia - St Vincent and Spencer Gulfs
  • Aus462   North Cape, New Ireland to Wuvulu Island
  • Aus654   Plans In Papua New Guinea
  • Aus676   Plans In New Britain
    Today 459 AHS raster charts (778 including sub-charts) are included in the Marine GeoGarage viewer. 
    Note : AHS updates their nautical charts with corrections published in:

    Brazil DHN update in the Marine GeoGarage

    23 charts have been added since the last update :
    (DHN update January 4, 2013)

    • 2791      LAGO DE BRASÍLIA - PARTE CENTRAL  (02/10/2012)
    • 2792      LAGO DE BRASÍLIA  (02/10/2012)
    • 21400      DO CABO MAGUARI À PONTA BOIUÇUCANGA   (28/09/2012)
    Today 356 charts (406 including sub-charts) from DHN are displayed in the Marine GeoGarage
    Don't forget to visit the NtM Notices to Mariners (Avisos aos Navegantes)

    Global mercury pollution in oceans top layer doubled in last century

    There's a tight and surprising link between the ocean's health and ours, says marine biologist Stephen Palumbi.
    He shows how toxins at the bottom of the ocean food chain find their way into our bodies, with a shocking story of toxic contamination from a Japanese fish market.
    His work points a way forward for saving the oceans' health -- and humanity's.

    From HuffingtonPost

    Mercury pollution in the top layer of the world's oceans has doubled in the past century, part of a man-made problem that will require international cooperation to fix, the U.N.'s environment agency said Thursday.

    The report by the U.N. Environment Program showed for the first time that hundreds of tons of mercury have leaked from the soil into rivers and lakes around the world.

    As a result of rising emissions, communities in developing countries face increasing health and environmental risks linked to exposure to mercury, the U.N. agency says.

    Fish are often contaminated with mercury, a toxic metal that builds up as it climbs the food chain.
    Here are the average levels for 33 fish species, in parts per million
    (source : MNN)

    Mercury, a toxic metal, is widely used in chemical production and small-scale mining, particularly gold. It is a naturally occurring element that is found in air, water and soil, and it cannot be created or destroyed.

    Mercury emissions come from sources such as coal burning and the use of mercury to separate metal from ore in small-scale gold mining, and mercury pollution also comes from discarded electronic and other consumer products.
    Mercury in the air settles into soil from where it can then seep into water.

    The report, an update on its previous global tallies of mercury in 2002 and 2007, comes in advance of talks in Geneva next week between nations negotiating a new legally binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide.

    Such a treaty would represent a major reversal from previous years when major powers including the United States, China and India sought voluntary reductions.

    Mercury concentrations accumulate in fish and go up the food chain, posing the greatest risk of nerve damage to pregnant women, women of childbearing age and young children.

    The report says parts of Africa, Asia and South America could see increasing emissions of mercury into the environment mainly due to small-scale gold mining, and through coal burning for electricity. It found that mercury emissions from artisanal gold mining had doubled since 2005 due to factors such as rising gold prices and better reporting on the emissions.

    Asia accounts for just under half of all global releases of mercury, the report said.

    Over the past 100 years, mercury found in the top 100 meters of the world's oceans has doubled and concentrations in waters deeper than that have gone up by 25 percent, the U.N. agency said, while rivers and lakes contain an estimated 260 metric tons of mercury that was previously held in soils.

    UNEP's executive director, Achim Steiner, said mercury pollution remains "a major global, regional and national challenge in terms of threats to human health and the environment" but new technologies can reduce the risks.

    Links :
    • TheGuardian : Mercury poisoning is a growing global menace we have to address
    • BBC : UN: Rising mercury emissions increase risk to humans
    • IEDE : Treaty “Insufficient” to Reduce Global Mercury Levels

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    NOAA chart reveals underwater hazard for proposed anchorage area

    >>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<

    From NOAA

    Similar to a road map, nautical charts provide basic navigation information for mariners – such as water depths and the locations of hazards – to support safe navigation. 

    Cartographers from NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey recently flagged a potentially dangerous situation during their review of a proposed federal rule establishing new anchorage areas on the Mississippi River.

    The proposed anchorage areas were based on non-NOAA charts that did not depict the underwater pipelines.
    The pipelines, which carry benzene, posed a potential danger if ships dropped anchor on top of them.

    The pipeline areas are depicted on the NOAA nautical chart (#11370 Mississippi River-New Orleans to Baton Rouge 1:40,000)
    That chart data and original source files led to the cancellation of the proposed anchorage area.

    The Office of Coast Survey is the US nation's nautical chart maker, providing traditional paper charts as well as the charts used by commercial electronic navigational systems.
    The suite of nearly a thousand nautical charts covers 95,000 miles of U.S. coastline.

    Farm-raised tuna may not be the answer to overfishing

    Divers from "The Changing Oceans Expedition" explore a red tuna farm in Malta.
    Red tunas are trapped in large cages (approximately 1000 tuna in a 50m diameter cage) were they are fed systematically until they reach commercial size.

    From BusinessWeek
    With Japan mired in a further recession and electronics giants Sony (SNE), Panasonic (PC), and Sharp (6753) losing billions of dollars, the Japanese can take consolation that they’re still tops in some things.

    Case in point: Nobody can beat its fishmongers.
    Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo is the world’s biggest and its first auction of 2013 again set a record for the world’s priciest tuna.
    Kiyomura, a sushi chain in Japan’s capital, paid ¥155.4 million ($1.76 million) on Jan. 5 for the honor of buying the first bluefin tuna of the year.
    That’s triple the record set last year.

    A bluefin tuna, bought for nearly three-quarters of a million US dollars has been sliced up and served to eager customers at a Japanese restaurant in Tokyo.
    The tuna, caught off northeastern Japan fetched a record 56.49 million yen, (about 736,000 US dollars,) on Thursday in the first auction of the year at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market.
    The price for the 269-kilogramme (593-pound) tuna beat last year's record of 32.49 million yen (around 420,000 US dollars.)
    Though the fish is undoubtedly high quality, the price has more to do with the celebratory atmosphere that surrounds the first auction of the year.
    The winning bidder was Kiyoshi Kimura, the president of Kiyomura Co. which operates a nationwide sushi restaurant chain called Sushi-zanmai.
    The best slices of fatty bluefin, called "o-toro" in Japan, can sell for 2,000 yen (24 US dollars) per piece at Tokyo sushi bars.
    But the restaurant chain is offering the tuna at its usual price of 418 yen (around 5.44 US dollars) for an "o-toro", and cheaper for other less fatty parts of the tuna.
    With a long queue of customers circling the block around the restaurant, Kimura has limited orders to just one piece per person.
    The tuna was caught off Oma, in Aomori prefecture just north of the coast that was battered by the March 11 tsunami. Japan eats 80 percent of the Atlantic and Pacific bluefins caught, the most sought-after by sushi lovers.
    Japanese fishermen, however, face growing calls for tighter fishing rules amid declining tuna stocks worldwide.

    The price is about symbolism: The 222-kilogram (489 pound) tuna is big—big enough for 10,000 pieces of sushi—but that’s not unusual for bluefin.
    An average Atlantic bluefin can weigh over 500 lbs. and the Pacific and Southern Ocean bluefin are hefty, too.
    As such an outsized fish, bluefin easily capture media attention at the Tsukiji auction.
    However, they also are more vulnerable than smaller fish to environmental disasters such as the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
    And because of the fish’s popularity among sushi lovers, overfishing of bluefin “has almost led to its extinction,” according to the World Wildlife Foundation.

    The South Pacific is still relatively healthy and teeming with fish, but it is a fragile paradise. International fishing fleets are taking a serious toll on the sharks, albatross and tuna, and there are other insidious threats to these bountiful seas.

    You might think that aquaculture is the answer.
    Farm-raised salmon is common in the U.S.
    A decade ago, few Americans ate tilapia, but now the white fish is a favorite of the food industry, thanks to farms in China and other countries.
    Bluefin are much bigger than those other fish; as a result, they are much harder to breed on farms. Most bluefin are either caught in the wild (in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern oceans) or captured as small fish and raised on fish ranches.

    However, catching bluefin tuna when they’re young and then raising them on giant fish farms just makes the problem worse, according to Seafood Watch, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s program focusing on ocean sustainability.
    “All populations of bluefin tuna are being caught faster than they can reproduce,” the California aquarium says on its website.
    “Bluefin is being further depleted by ranching operations that collect small bluefin and raise them to full size to sell primarily to the sushi market.”
    Seafood Watch has “Avoid” recommendations for both wild-caught and ranch-raised bluefin, and the Monterey organization isn’t the only group critical of the bluefin industry.
    The Environmental Defense Fund has an “Eco-Worst Choice” grade for all types of bluefin tuna.
    The EDF also warns about the health dangers of elevated levels of mercury and PCBs in the fish. “Adults and kids should not eat at all,” the organization warns.

    Atlantic bluefin tuna at the opening of fishing season off Spain's southern coast
    Photograph by Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo

    For years, people in the fish industry have been pursuing the elusive goal of breeding bluefin completely on farms, from eggs all the way to mature fish.
    Clean Seas Tuna, an Australian aquaculture company, has been one of the leaders in efforts to breed tuna; Time included the company’s breeding tank in the magazine’s “50 Best Inventions of 2009.”

    However, Clean Seas announced right before Christmas that it was suspending its breeding program for southern bluefin tuna (SBT).
    “The volume and quantity of fertilised eggs produced to date has been disappointing compared to other seasons,” the company said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange.
    “Whilst the Company continues to believe in the commercialisation potential of the successful closure of the SBT lifecycle, investment beyond the Company’s current financial resources will be required for this goal to be achieved.”
    Clean Seas stock traded at 2 Australian dollars in 2008 and now trades at 2 Australian cents.

    Clean Seas isn’t the only bluefin-focused company facing some hard times.
    Oli Steindorsson, the chairman and chief executive officer of San Diego-based Umami Sustainable Seafood, resigned from all his positions at the company, “effective immediately,” Umami announced on Dec. 10.
    The new chairman, James White, serves on the boards of several resource companies, including PC Gold (PKL) and Auriga Gold (AIA).
    Umami “believes that Mr. White is qualified to serve as chairman of the Board due to his financial background and experience in the debt and equity markets,” the company said.

    I interviewed Steindorsson in 2011 and he warned then about the need for patience.
    Given the challenges in trying to breed a fish that can easily weigh over 300 lbs., he said, Unami’s program would need five to seven further years before there would be results.
    “This is not an Intel (INTC) chip, these are biological creatures,” he said.
    “No matter how fast we want to do this, we always have to respect the laws of nature.”

    Links :
    • Mission Blue : New scientific report shows Pacific bluefin tuna population down 96.4%

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    Viral black iceberg photo will give you the chills

    Black iceberg photo viral online
    (Image: "Rundboll")

    From TheExaminer

    A photo of a giant black iceberg is going viral after Reddit user Rundboll posted the picture on Jan. 4, 2012.
    The post has over 1,200 comments by fellow Redditors who gave the photo plenty of upvotes.

    Not only is the photo of the black iceberg a viral sensation, one Reddit member left a comment about the unusual iceberg, lending some helpful information about it to those who never knew something like this existed.

    User Bama011 posted: "Most icebergs are white except along freshly calved ice cliffs, which tend to appear blue. Others may appear green, brown or black, or combinations of these colours. These icebergs have usually rolled over, exposing basal ice, or have emerged from below water level. The various colorations are caused by differences in density, air-bubble content and impurities. For example, black ice is of high density and bubble free; dark layers indicate the presence of rock materials derived from the base of the parent glacier. Occasionally, rocks may be found on the original upper surface of the iceberg. As the iceberg melts, these materials precipitate into marine or lake sediments. "

    His comment was pulled from the Canadian Enclyopedia, something Reddit members thought was as unusual as the black iceberg : the black color is due to the iceberg's high density, absence of bubbles, and the presence of rock materials derived from the base of the parent glacier.
    "I'm Canadian and had no idea this resource existed."

    According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, a black iceberg is not rare.
    However, it is not captured on photo often, so it's no wonder the photo posted on Reddit went viral so quickly.
    Have you ever seen a dark-colored iceberg?

    Black iceberg @ Jökulsarlon (joshe on FlickR)

    Jökulsarlon in South East Iceland in high resolution

    Moraine, unstratified and unsorted deposits of sediment that form through the direct action of, or contact with, glacier ice (see USGS)

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

    Giant squid filmed in Pacific depths, Japan scientists report

     A giant squid is capturing the imaginations of scientists in Japan. Squids are one of the ocean's most mysterious creatures.
    Little is known about how they live but these still photos taken from the world's first moving images of a giant squid show the creature in its natural habitat hundreds of meters under the ocean.
    The video was shot last July near Japan's Ogasawara islands, 620 miles south of Tokyo.

    It shows a three-meter-long cephalopod. Zoologist at Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science Tsunemi Kubodera led the 40-day expedition.

    From Phys

    Scientists and broadcasters said Monday they have captured footage of an elusive giant squid roaming the depths of the Pacific Ocean, showing it in its natural habitat for the first time ever.

    Screen grab from footage captured by NHK and Discovery Channel taken in July 2012 shows a giant squid in the sea near Chichi island.
    The squid was spotted at a depth of 630 meters using a submersible in July, some 15 km east of Chichi island in the north Pacific Ocean.

    Japan's National Science Museum succeeded in filming the deep-sea creature at a depth of more than half a kilometre (a third of a mile) after teaming up with Japanese public broadcaster NHK and the US Discovery Channel.

     A giant squid has been videotaped in its deep-ocean habitat for the first time.
    This is an excerpt from Discovery Channel's Monster squid: the giant is real, which premieres on January 27, 2013 at 8PM ET/PT as the season finale of Curiosity.
    The scientists and filmmakers undertook 55 submersible dives, totaling 285 hours, some at depths greater than 3,000 feet, to capture this encounter with a giant squid, estimated to weigh 600 pounds.

    The massive invertebrate is the stuff of legend, with sightings of a huge ocean-dwelling beast reported by sailors for centuries.
    The creature is thought to be the genesis of the Nordic legend of Kraken, a sea monster believed to have attacked ships in waters off Scandinavia over the last millennium.

     A Zoologist at the Smithsonian Institution shares the history of the Kraken.
    (other video)
    Modern-day scientists on their own Moby Dick-style search used a submersible to descend to the dark and cold depths of the northern Pacific Ocean, where at around 630 metres (2,066 feet) they managed to film a three-metre specimen.
    After around 100 missions, during which they spent 400 hours in the cramped submarine, the three-man crew tracked the creature from a spot some 15 kilometres (nine miles) east of Chichi island in the north Pacific. 

    Graphic fact file on the giant squid.
    Scientists say they have succeeded in filming the elusive deep-sea creature in its habitat for the first time.
    (Architeuthis show to approximate scale next to the Shinkai 6500, a famous 31-feet-long Japanese manned research submersible : image)

    NHK showed footage of the silver-coloured creature, which had huge black eyes, as it swam against the current, holding a bait squid in its arms.
    For Kubodera it was the culmination of a lengthy quest for the beast.
    "It was shining and so beautiful," Kubodera told AFP.
    "I was so thrilled when I saw it first hand, but I was confident we would because we rigorously researched the areas we might find it, based on past data."
    Kubodera said the creature had its two longest arms missing, and estimated it would have been eight metres long if it had been whole.
    He gave no explanation for its missing arms.
    He said it was the first video footage of a live giant squid in its natural habitat—the depths of the sea where there is little oxygen and the weight of the water above exerts enormous pressure.

    Screen grab from footage captured by NHK and Discovery Channel in July 2012 shows a giant squid holding a bait squid in its arms in the sea near Chichi island.
    Scientists used a submersible to get them into the depths of the Pacific Ocean, where at around 630 metres they managed to film the giant squid.

    Kubodera, a squid specialist, also filmed what he says was the first live video footage of a giant squid in 2006, but only from his boat after it was hooked and brought up to the surface.

    "Researchers around the world have tried to film giant squid in their natural habitats, but all attempts were in vain before," Kubodera said.
    "With this footage we hope to discover more about the life of the species," he said, adding that he planned to publish his findings soon.
    Kubodera said the two successful sightings of the squid—in 2012 and 2006—were both in the same area, some 1,000 kilometres south of Tokyo, suggesting it could be a major habitat for the species.
    The giant squid, "Architeuthis" to scientists, is sometimes described as one of the last mysteries of the ocean, being part of a world so hostile to humans that it has been little explored.
    Researchers say Architeuthis eats other types of squid and grenadier, a species of fish that lives in the deep ocean.
    They say it can grow to be longer than 10 metres.
    NHK said it and the Discovery Channel are scheduled to air special documentaries on the find later this month.

    Links :

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    Unreasonable at sea to set sail on 100-day accelerator cruise

    From TheNextWeb

    A first of its kind type of accelerator is preparing to hoist anchor and set off on a unbelievable journey.

    Unreasonable at Sea, the startup accelerator taking place entirely on a boat, has announced it would be setting sail around the world starting on January 9.

    On board are 11 entrepreneurial teams, selected through the Unreasonable Institute and the non-profit Institute for Shipboard Education, that have a desire to advance their companies internationally.

    Entrepreneurs and mentors stuck together on a ship

    During the startup group’s 100-day journey around the world, they will be joined by 20 mentors who have exceptional experience in the ways of the world and can offer insights into helping a team’s product succeed.
    Among the notables are Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Google’s VP of New Business Development Megan Smith, Stanford’s’s co-founder George Kembel, co-founder and Executive Producer of the hit TV show ER and co-founder of Law & Order: SVU Neal Baer, and IBM’s VP of Global Business Development Cathy Rodgers.

    As we reported last year, Unreasonable at Sea is the brainchild of Luke Jones, the Chief of Staff of Semester at Sea, and Daniel Epstein, the founder of the Boulder, Colorado-based accelerator Unreasonable Institute. The participants will set sail on a journey that will have them sailing 25,000 nautical miles and porting in 10 countries such as Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Burma, India, Ghana, Morocco, Spain, and others.
    Meet the companies that want to change the world

    So just who are the lucky participants taking part in this grand adventure?
    More than 400 applications were received from over 80 countries, but 11 teams were selected with 25 total members going on board.
    The ages range between 22 to 48.
    A few of the companies have already been established and profitable, but are seeking ways to scale globally:
    • Aquaphytex: Goal is to provide clean water to 300,000 people without chemicals or energy, but through plants
    • Damascus Fortune: Focus is to develop nanotechnology that transforms carbon emissions into material for spaceships
    • Innoz: A highly-popular mobile application in India that is designed to leapfrog the Internet — it currently has over 120 million users
    • Prakti Design: It aims to help feed 250,000 people daily with “ultra-affordable and fuel efficient stoves”
    • Solar Ear: It claims to be the world’s first digitally programmable and rechargeable hearing aid
    The Unreasonable Institute says that the remaining companies have a globally-relevant technology and are eager to launch on the international stage:
    • Artificial Vision for the Blind: This company focuses on leveraging artificial intelligence to be a non-invasive cure for blindness
    • Evolving Technologies: It plans to help make medical devices for maternal care “radically affordable” in emerging markets
    • Protei: Wind-powered, shape-shifting, open source sailing drones that clean oceans is this company’s product
    • Sasa: An SMS-based e-commerce service that connects offline artisans to consumers directly
    • The IOU Project: A company looking to shift the dynamics of supply chains in apparel
    • Vita Beans Neural Solutions: Looks to educate and empower teachers through what it calls a “gamified platform” 
     An accelerator on a boat

    An unusual accelerator

    When most people think about technology accelerators, they often cite Y Combinator, TechStars, 500 Startups, or similar programs.
    In this case, the Unreasonable at Sea program is one where teams are still getting mentorship and advice on how to build out their business, but at the same time, are on a rather lengthy field trip going about trying to really change the world.
    You’ll notice that none of these participating companies are involved in social media — you don’t really see anyone trying to build the next Facebook, competing against Zynga, or even creating a mobile photo-sharing app.

    Companies on board will have a whole new situation in front of them.
    The group won’t be on the ship by themselves.
    It is operating in conjunction with the Semester at Sea college program, where students from around the world apply to continue their education.
    Les McCabe, President of the global shipboard study abroad program, says that it believes entrepreneurship will solve the world’s grand challenges and “we pride ourselves on offering students eye-opening learning experiences that will help them function as global citizens and become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.”

    Students onboard will have the ability to interact with the entrepreneurs while also learning more about starting their own business.
    Hopefully they’ll be able to witness the challenges faced by early-stage startups and how that plays out globally.

    Each company will have a unique experience at port cities

    Semester at Sea’s Chief of Staff Luke Jones tells us that at each port call, the entrepreneurs will have between three to six days to meet the community and learn about the culture.
    The hope is that the experience will be translated into helping shape the startup so that it can succeed internationally.
    Each port is for different companies and the Unreasonable Institute has done its research into bringing together experts, influencers, and leaders to help answer questions that an entrepreneur might have.

    In one way, you might think about this accelerator almost like the “Geeks on a Plane” program run by 500 Startups’ Dave McClure, except you’re on a ship and the journey is much longer.

    Next week will be the accelerator’s first cruise — nothing like this has ever been done before. Although, it’s not that difficult to believe this is happening.
    We asked Jones whether any of the alumni in the Semester at Sea’s 50-year history has gone on to help change the world and he said yes: Jessica Flannery, the co-founder of the non-profit micro-lending service

    Links :
    • DigitalTrends :  Maybe an accelerator at sea isn’t so ‘Unreasonable’ after all

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

    The blue ocean

    The Blue Ocean in RED from Howard Hall
    Locations include the Maldives, Alaska, California, Cocos Island Costa Rica, and Mexico.